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Alpha Chi Omega (ΑΧΩ, also known as Alpha Chi or A Chi O) is a women's fraternity founded on October 15, 1885.

Alpha Chi Omega
ΑΧΩ
Alpha Chi Omega coat of arms.png
FoundedOctober 15, 1885; 134 years ago (1885-10-15)
DePauw University, (Greencastle, Indiana)
TypeSocial
ScopeInternational
MottoTogether let us seek the heights
Colors     Scarlet red      Olive green[1]
SymbolGolden lyre
FlowerRed carnation
Patron Greek divinityHera
PublicationThe Lyre
PhilanthropyDomestic Violence Awareness, Alpha Chi Omega Foundation
Chapters194
Members230,000+ lifetime
Headquarters5939 Castle Creek Parkway North Dr.
Indianapolis, Indiana
USA
Websitewww.alphachiomega.org

As of 2018, there are 194 collegiate and 279 alumnae chapters represented across the United States, and the fraternity counts more than 230,000 members initiated through its history.[2] As of 2018, Angela Costley Harris is the National President of Alpha Chi Omega and oversees all collegiate and alumnae chapters in the nation.

Alpha Chi Omega is a member of the National Panhellenic Conference, the governing council of 26 women's fraternities.[3] Its own national headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

HistoryEdit

 
Alpha Chapter at Depauw University, 1885

Alpha Chi Omega was formed at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana on October 15, 1885.[4]

In the fall of 1885, Professor James Hamilton Howe, the first Dean of the Music School, invited seven young women from the school to a meeting with the purpose of forming a fraternity. Those young women were Anna Allen Smith, Olive Burnett Clark, Bertha Deniston Cunningham, Amy DuBois Rieth, Nellie Gamble Childe, Bessie Grooms Keenan, and Estelle Leonard.[4] Howe collaborated with James G. Campbell, a Beta Theta Pi, to form a national fraternity. Campbell laid out the first constitution and by-laws. This first constitution read: "The object of this fraternity is as follows: To attain the highest musical culture and to cultivate those principles that embody true womanhood."[5] On February 26, 1886, the fraternity was given its formal introduction by a soiree musical.[5]

Alpha Chi Omega joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1903.

Early musical requirementsEdit

Association with the music school was required early on, as the fraternity only allowed School of Music students. Later on, this was changed and the minimum requirement became registration in one music course, any form of it. Members then graduated in many other departments of the university, including the liberal arts department.[5] In 1889, a national literary fraternity offered to merge with Alpha Chi Omega; however, unlike professional fraternities, Alpha Chi never considered taking members of other fraternities.[5] In its early years it was externally considered to be a professional music society,[6][7] but due to disagreement with this designation, in 1900, the sorority added literary qualifications, which led to it being considered a general (social) sorority by 1905.[8]

Beginnings of philanthropyEdit

In 1911, Alpha Chi Omega began supporting the MacDowell Colony, as MacDowell was an alumna of Alpha Chi Omega.[9] During World War I and II Alpha Chi Omega offered its support by helping working mothers who were married to service men by providing day nurseries and helping orphaned French children. In 1947, Alpha Chi Omega adopted Easter Seals as its philanthropy and supported other projects associated with cerebral palsy.[9]

In 1978, the fraternity created the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation to merge funds for the fraternity's philanthropic projects and educational programming into one nonprofit organization.[9] In 1992, the fraternity voted adopt a new primary philanthropy, the support of victims of domestic violence.[10][11] Alpha Chi Omega was the first major organization to speak out and adopt Domestic Violence Awareness as their philanthropy. This epidemic issue affects one in four women in the world today and one in three women on college campuses. Alpha Chi Omega continues to support Easter Seals.

SymbolsEdit

Alpha Chi Omega's Founders chose "Alpha" (Α), the first letter of the Greek alphabet, because they were forming the first fraternity in the school of music. Since they thought they might also be founding the last such fraternity, "Omega" (Ω) seemed appropriate, considering it stands for the end. "Kai", meaning "and", was added to form "the beginning and the end". "Kai" was soon changed to "Chi" (Χ), a letter of the Greek alphabet.[4]

Alpha Chi Omega's colors of scarlet red and olive green were chosen to commemorate the fraternity's fall founding.[12] The fraternity's official symbol is a three-stringed lyre[13] and the official flower is a red carnation, which exemplifies the fraternity's colors. The fraternity's official jewel is the pearl. The badge (pin) is also a lyre, typically featuring pearls and the fraternity's letters on the crossbar. Alpha Chi Omega chose the lyre to be their official symbol since it was the first instrument played by the Gods on Mount Olympus. Although Alpha Chi Omega no longer is strictly a musical sorority, they are still connected to their musical heritage through their symbol of the lyre.

PhilanthropyEdit

The fraternity manages its philanthropy through its nonprofit arm, the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation. This branch continues to grant funds to the fraternity's former partners, the MacDowell Colony and Easter Seals, as well as to services and programs for domestic violence victims and on education on the subject.[11] The Foundation also helps to support members and those closely related to Alpha Chi Omegas through other funds and grants to ensure continuous support for its members.[14]

Individual chapters focus their attention on increasing the awareness of domestic violence, its effects on individuals, families, and children, as well as actively aiding victims of domestic violence through hands-on activities and service projects. This work is done through local agencies, which undergraduate and alumnae chapters support physically and financially. Local agencies include rape crisis centers, emergency shelters and safe houses for victims of domestic violence and their children, and long-term assistance centers for battered women across the nation.

As of 2018 Alpha Chi Omega is partnered with Mary Kay, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, The One Love Foundation, RAINN, and It's On Us, various organizations which also support domestic/sexual violence violence awareness and education and survivor support.[10] The fraternity also supports Kristin's Story in cooperation with Delta Delta Delta, a nonprofit set up by the Delta Delta Delta mother of an Alpha Chi Omega member who committed suicide following a sexual assault.[15]

MembershipEdit

There are 194 chapters of Alpha Chi Omega at colleges and universities in the United States. There are also 279 alumnae chapters, which allow women of all post-graduate ages to come together and continue the mission and values of Alpha Chi Omega. Collegiate chapters work directly with alumnae chapters to link sisters from around the country. In addition, alumnae chapters continue the cause of working to eliminate domestic violence. The fraternity states its membership values as "academic interest, character, financial responsibility, leadership, and personal development."

 
The founders of Alpha Chi Omega

TraditionsEdit

Members of Alpha Chi Omega have several national programs for important dates:

  • Founders' Day — Sisters gather on October 15 of each year to recognize the fraternity's fall founding at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Members wear their badges, along with scarlet and olive green ribbons.[16]
  • Hera Day — On March 1 of each year, members conduct volunteer work and service projects.[16]
  • MacDowell Month — Every February, Alpha Chi Omega women celebrate the fine arts and their fine-arts heritage. Most collegiate chapters encourage their members to attend and perform in fine art events during this month. "Named for the MacDowell artists' colony in New Hampshire (Alpha Chi Omega's first philanthropic p[16]
  • Local Founding Days — Each collegiate chapter recognizes its founding anniversary annually.
  • The National Convention — Members join together every two years to conduct fraternity business, reunite with sisters, and celebrate the fraternity.

Notable alumnaeEdit

Arts and entertainmentEdit

Beauty pageant contestantsEdit

News and journalismEdit

PoliticsEdit

SportsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Alpha Chi Omega Symbols and traditions
  2. ^ "Find Us". Alpha Chi Omega. 12 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Our Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  4. ^ a b c "About ΑΧΩ". Alpha Chi Omega. Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  5. ^ a b c d Armstrong, Florence A.; Mabel Harriet Siller (1922). History of Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity (1885–1921) (3 ed.). Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity.
  6. ^ Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (5 ed.). 1898.
  7. ^ Stevens, Albert C. (1899). The cyclopædia of fraternities, a compilation of existing authentic information and the results of original investigation as to more than six hundred secret societies in the United States. p. 347. OL 23292199M. Alpha Chi Omega– Professional (Music) Society
  8. ^ Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (6 ed.). 1905.
  9. ^ a b c "About Chi Omega Foundation History". Alpha Chi Omega. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  10. ^ a b "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS". Alpha Chi Omega. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Foundation [ Domestic Violence ]". 2007-06-07. Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  12. ^ "Alpha Chi Omega – About Us". Archived from the original on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  13. ^ Alpha Chi Omega
  14. ^ "Alpha Chi Omega Foundation". Alpha Chi Omega. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  15. ^ Kristin's Story
  16. ^ a b c "Symbols and Traditions". Alpha Chi Omega. 12 October 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "About ΑΧΩ Notable Alumnae". Alpha Chi Omega. Archived from the original on 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  18. ^ "Alpha Chi Omega Actress in the News".
  19. ^ "Nancy Hoyt: Biography". Archived from the original on 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  20. ^ Maxwell, Jill Hecht. "MIT Alum Television Host in Asia". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  21. ^ "Survivor Cast: Sarah Jones". CBS. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  22. ^ Priluck, Audra Levi (2018-02-23). "Alpha Chi Omega, We Love Thee...With Glee!". Alpha Chi Omega – Starting Conversations. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  23. ^ "Aubrey Style – Interview". Aubrey-o.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
  24. ^ "List of Sororities - Niche Ink". Ink: Niche Insight + Analysis. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  25. ^ "PonyFans.com • View topic - The Sopranos". www.ponyfans.com. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  26. ^ D'Aluisio, Alexandra (March 12, 2019). "Who Is Hannah Brown? 5 Things to Know About the Next Bachelorette". US Magazine.
  27. ^ Corey, Jen. "LinkedIn". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2018-08-22.[dead link]
  28. ^ "Greek101". Greek 101.
  29. ^ "Alpha Chi Omega Foundation Newsletter" (PDF). Alpha Chi Omega. 2005. Retrieved 2008-12-22.[dead link]
  30. ^ "Baker grad named Nashville Mayor". Baker University. April 27, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  31. ^ Iwata, Edward (March 24, 2003). "Watkins gets frank about days at Enron". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  32. ^ Becque, Fran (2018-02-07). "Fraternity and Sorority Members Competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics". Fraternity History & More. Archived from the original on 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-08-22.

External linksEdit